Thursday, October 13, 2005

One of a Kind Films

Thank God there can be, as in Highlander, only one!

DEAFULA was the world's only movie filmed entirely in "Sign-Scope." Director Peter Weschberg stars as Count Dracula in this film made for the deaf and hearing-impaired that is told entirely through sign-language. Long out-of-print, it is available for rental in 16mm film format through Enoch Pratt Free Library's Audio-Visual Department. (Peter Weschberg, 1975, 95 minutes)

Read Mike White's review and interview with producer Gary Holstrom in Cashiers du Cinemart.

INCUBUS is the one and only American film ever made entirely in Esperanto. In Esperanto, that would read: INCUBUS estas la unusola filmo usona iam farita tute en Esperanto. But wait, it gets stars a pre-Star Trek William Shatner! This classic is now available on video and DVD! Esperanto was created in 1887 by Ludovic Zamenhof to become a "universal language" for future societies to understand one another. Rooted in Latin and Greek, with Teutonic shadings, Esperanto sounds highly poetic, or maybe it's just that it sounded Swedish and was evocative, in "Incubus" at least, of Ingmar Bergman films. I recall being taught Esperanto in high school back in the 1970s, back when they also told us that the area between Washington, D.C. and Boston would become one gigantic city called Metropolis. Go figger. (Leslie Stevens, 1965, 78 minutes)

From the director DEEP THROAT comes the world's only pornographic puppet movie. It also features cameos by the director and Al Goldstein, with appearances by Luis De Jesus and Lynette Sheldon, who both appeared in BLOOD SUCKING FREAKS. Set designs by Annie Sprinkle. (Gerard Damiano, 1976, 50 minutes)

The Chinese have a thing about physical disabilities (sorry, "differently abled" people, in PC parlance!) in their martial arts movies, because a number of films are about one-armed swordsmen (made famous in Jimmy Wu films such as, natch, THE ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN!) and blind swordsmen (the ZATOICHI series)...but the flick that takes the cake in this genre is definitely THE CRIPPLED MASTERS, which pits a simp with no arms against a gimp with no legs. I love this movie which proves that two arms and legs are not better than none! For details, see this review from the Bad Movies Web site. (Joe Law, Hong Kong, 1982, 90 minutes)

Weng Weng gets down as Agent 00, the world's only midget secret agent in this curioddity from the Philippines that had the tagline, "Bigger than Goldfinger's finger, bigger than Thunderball's ___'s." For a complete "low-down" and the long and short of it, see the review at Bad Movies. (Eddie Nicart, 1979, Philippines, 88 minutes)

For Your Height Only is now available on DVD from Mondo Macabre!

The Terror of Tiny Town was world's first and only all-midget Western, featuring a cast of pony-riding cowbucks all standing under 4 feet tall, who walk UNDER the saloon doors! Midgets fighting is always funny, whether in a wrestling ring or with six-guns atop a pony. For more, see the Bad Movies review. (Sam Newfield, 1938, 62 minutes)


The world's only all-retarded cast? Almost...I guess it depends on how you feel about all-around wack job Crispin Glover, who not only directs this film but also portarys a "Dueling Demi-God Auteur" and a "young man's inner psyche." Some would say he's just plain nuts, but in a visionary genius sort of way. Regardless, I love this review of Crispin's long-in-the-making pet project from Alex Jackson's I Viddied It On the Screen Web site:

The principal cast is made up of actors with Down Syndrome, many of which do not seem to be able to talk very clearly. Most of the movie consists of us watching these retards garbling at one another, unsubtitled, and bringing to mind those infamous scenes of Wookie domesticity in The Star Wars Holiday Special.

The official tagline for What Is It? was "Being the adventures of a young man whose principle interests are snails, salt, a pipe, and how to get home. As tormented by an hubristic, racist inner psyche." Got that? Yes, it's weird with a beard! Or, as E Film Critic put it:

"Probably the most representative scene in Crispin Glover's "What Is It?" is the one in which a nude woman wearing a monkey mask brings a watermelon to a naked cerebral palsy-stricken man who is sleeping on a clamshell. That wild, random confluence of images is the film's area of expertise. It's weirdness for weirdness' sake, and while I disagree fundamentally with a film that has no purpose other than to make you go "huh ... that was odd," I do concede that most of the weirdness in this case is at least interesting weirdness."

For more information see:
What Is It? Official Site
What Is IT? IMDB Entry
(Crispin Glover, 2005, 82 minutes)


Not a one of a kind film, but a one of a kind series of short films - MGM's "Dogville Series" (also known as "Houndies" or "All-Barkie" films - the latter a pun on the "All-Talkie" hype of early synched sound films) featured an all-barking cast of canines in nine films from 1929 to 1931 and laid the groundwork for the all-animal concept that would later evolve into TV's all-chimp classicLancelot Link, Secret Chimp.

Co-directed by future Three Stooges auteur Jules White, the Dogville shorts parodied popular films of the day, from 1930's The Dogway Melody (a spoof of 1929's popular "All talking! All Singing! All Dancing" early soundie musical The Broadway Melody - and available as an extra feature on the special edition DVD release of this title) to 1931's So Quiet On the Canine Front.
Each film featuring dubbed voice-overs and ran roughly 15 to 17 minutes. And, being the 1930s, no doubt the pups were inhumanely treated for our amusement, as the studio used fishing line, peanut butter, and other such implements of torture to prompt the doggies to act. But if you like seeing dogs wearing clothes, playing instruments, barking "Jingle Bells," or playing poker (and who doesn't?), it's well worth checking these out the next time they run on cable TV's Turner Classic Movies. As one user commented on the Internet Movie DataBase (IMDB): "It's actually rather amusing (in a sick and twisted sort of way) to watch these poor animals being forced to humiliate themselves and, with them, the entire human race." (9 titles, 1929-1931, 15-17 minutes)

Sorry folks, a rare nod to good taste precludes me from showing a picture for this one of a kind film - the first amputee sex porn movie! Unfortunately, good taste did not prevent director Alex de Renzy from using the peg-leg pirate theme in the title of this 1977 oddity which, like the adept reviewer's comment above on "Dogville Shorts," manages to shame the entire human race. According to her bio, Jeanne Silver was a pretty amputee who appeared in men's magazines and on San Francisco's burlesque stages before hitting the "silver" screen. She had the lower part of her left leg removed when she was a child. The remaining stump, extending several inches below her knee, is little more than bone covered with flesh and resembles a gigantic, John Holmesian phallus. Director Alex DeRenzy used the pseudo-documentary format to display Silver's sexual habits in Long Jean Silver. She has sex with a woman - Amber Hunt - during a threesome, impales two teenage students, and even goes so far as to stump-pump a homosexual's ass. One of the most bizarre films to come out of the 70s and hard to find. At one time it was available through Alpha Blue Archives and supposedly a DVD can be had from whoever or whatever is AmpuLove. Oh the humanity. (Alex de Rezny, 1977, 64 minutes)


Blogger cher said...

hahaha. very funny blog!

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that Lynette Sheldon, whose legs are spread in the gynecologist's stirrups on the cover of the DVD for "Let My Puppets Come" while the puppet gyno examines her, is now an acting teacher? Um, who'd pay money to learn acting from someone like that?

11:20 AM  

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